J & M was founded in February 1973 in a garage in New Orleans, LA by Maurice Gaudet, III. J & M began recycling coffee bean bags into burlap bags for use in the local feed, agriculture and oyster industries. Business took off, and after just two short years, the Company moved into a larger facility in the wharf district of New Orleans. With the help of the Gaudet brothers and dedicated employees, the Company expanded operations into new areas: manufacturing custom separation cloths for grains ships frequenting the port and new multi-use textile bags. J & M products were welcomed in the industry, and we began to develop a reputation for innovative and practical solutions.
With five acquisitions in the 1980s and our expanded production capabilities, word of our solution-oriented approach to business spread, bringing new customers requesting specialized applications. New product lines were added to support and complement the existing bag and tarp business.
By the end of the 1980s, our line of protective tarps had grown and diversified to include a wide range of fabrications and applications. We are proud to have played a part in Operation Desert Storm, having been selected as one of the three companies in the nation to manufacture ammunition covers to stringent Army specifications. We shipped more than half of the Army’s requirements in record time. The experience gained from the military contract expanded our market and production of high-quality protective tarps into other industries.
Continued growth led to the 1992 construction of a new 80,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and subsequent additions over several years added another 80,000 square feet to the facility. We also added a 28,000 square-foot distribution center in Rayne, Louisiana. Eventually, as markets shifted, we discontinued the production of textile bags and focused our attention to the manufacturing of protective covers. Today, we continue to add new product lines as we leverage our custom tarp manufacturing expertise.
In 2015, we expanded once again to build a beautiful, state-of-the-art building measuring 120,000 square feet in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. The addition of this clear-span facility allowed JMI to expand its tarp-building capabilities, create custom covers and manufacture the highest quality products for our customers. Our entire Company is immensely proud to apply our traditions of excellence and innovation toward new challenges. We look forward to having the opportunity to serve you as we have served so many of our faithful friends and customers for over 49 years.